More than one hundred pigs were found roaming the roads of Santa Ysabel, in East San Diego County, California, apparently being abandoned by those who had kept them captive to exploit them either for food or as companion animals. Officials of the County of San Diego stated that they think the pigs were a breed that is frequently offered as family companions. At least two of the pigs were killed by passing lorries on Mesa Grande Road.

Ryan Valverde and his partner, who run a not-for-profit called Little Bitty Animal Sanctuary, were able to rescue one mother and two piglets but were unable to rescue more. He said to the Times of San Diego, “Momma piggy, that we named Wendi, is doing well, she is eating, drinking and nursing her babies. She appears to be more trusting of my wife and I every day. We still want to respect her space, and give her the opportunity to be there for her piglets.”  The piglets were named Mesa and Grande. 

Because the pigs are on the Mesa Grande Tribal land, the animal services of the County of San Diego do not have any jurisdiction. But they proposed to gather the pigs for them. These intelligent creatures are either exploited as if they were just commercial goods, or are discarded as if they were just litter. If a sanctuary is not found for all the chances are that they would end up being exploited again by someone or being accidentally killed by cars or predated by wildlife (against whom they will not be able to defend themselves as they had been bred in captivity and they are no longer wild animals with the body and mind required to survive in the wild by themselves).   

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“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.